Swinney: "I feel good about our roster on the defense side"

by - Assoc. Editor -
Swinney thinks his firs-team defense will be solid again this season

Dabo Swinney said during a radio interview on 105.5 The Roar at the Clemson media golf outing on the Reserve at Keowee on Wednesday that he feels good about the first-team defense and is looking to build depth and find out who will provide leadership for the defense.

"We got a bunch of guys that have not played but there was a point in time where Stephone and Deshaun and Grady and Vic and none of those guys had played either," Swinney said about his defense. "So its just a never-ending cycle that you make sure you bring in the right kind of guys. I feel good about our roster on the defensive side, both sides. Upfront defensively, our first group across the board - 1st 11 or 12 guys or 13 guys defensively, people are not going to see much different in which we finished up the season. I really think that Dodd is ready for a great year."

Swinney thinks there are several future NFL players on the Clemson defensive side of the ball.

"Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 295
Mooresboro, NC

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is just incredibly gifted. He and D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Defensive Tackle (2012 - 2015)
#48 6-2, 325
Greensboro, NC

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, these are two no doubt NFL players at some point. Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 269
Central, SC

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might be the best defensive end that we have signed here. We will see how it plays out. This man is just budding with potential and talent. They have good experience to go with it. Same thing with our linebacker core - Ben and B.J. and our nickel SAM group. We have an outstanding group."

Swinney also said that the secondary is the best group that he has had since he as been at Clemson.

"I think we have the best secondary that we have had since I have been at Clemson from top to bottom with the players and depth that we have here. I think it has gone from a weakness to the strength. I am excited about our personnel."

The Clemson football team will be looking for depth and someone to step up in the leadership position according to Swinney.

"The biggest thing is what you just said, we lost a ton of leadership and we can replace good players. Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-3, 295
Honolulu, HI

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, Wilkins, Huggins, Jabril, Dane, those guys are all good players, no question about it. The type of leadership was just tremendous and that is what we would like to see emerge from that side of the ball. The biggest thing is to develop some young depth. Last year, you take Vic out, bring Shaq Lawson in. Stephone goes out, bring in Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Jr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-0, 235
Anderson, SC

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. This year there is a lot of youth. Who is it when you take out Dodd? Who is that guy? We have a lot of work to do in camp. The first part of the season is developing the depth defensively."

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